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Official: Ethan Wady, Sami Tlemcani head out on loan; Thierno Ballo returns to Chelsea

Loan Army movements

Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers - Premier League 2 Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The transfer window officially slammed shut at 11pm last night, but under the cover of darkness, we’ve made some covert Loan Army movements, which were confirmed by the club this morning.

Two Academy goalkeepers have left on loan, 20-year-old Ethan Wady and 17-year-old Sami Tlemcani. Wady spent all of 2021 back at Cobham after a loan to sixth-tier Dartford at the start of last season, making 10 total appearances (7 last season, 3 this season) in the PL2 and the EFL Trophy. He now joins seventh-tier Hendon FC, who play in the Southern Football League’s premier division.

Also heading to seventh tier non-league football, as is tradition, is goalkeeper Sami Tlemcani, who came over from Paris FC at the start of last season. The 17-year-old got a surprise call-up to an expanded Morocco national team squad earlier this season (and was even named to the bench for a match against Guinea in October!), but has now joined Merstham FC of the Isthmian Premier League.

Tlemcani had not made an official appearance for the Chelsea Academy since a start last February against West Brom in the U18 Premier League.

Meanwhile, young Thierno Ballo has been recalled from his loan at Rapid Vienna. The 20-year-old seemed to be getting a decent amount of playing time — 14 appearances in all competitions, though only 670 minutes — but his prospects of getting more were dim.

“It is immensely important for Thierno Ballo that, at the current stage of his development, he completes as many minutes of play as possible at the highest possible level. Not least because of the surprising return of Yusuf Demir and other good alternatives that we have in the squad, this is rather unlikely for us in the next few months.

“So we agreed that it would be best for Ballo to return to London. I would like to thank him for his commitment over the past few months and on behalf of SK Rapid I wish him all the best for his future career, which can still be a very successful one due to the potential that lies dormant in him.”

-Zoran Barišić, sporting director; source: SK Rapid

Ballo’s contract is up at the end of the season as well, so his future doesn’t seem too certain. He joined Chelsea back in 2018 from Viktoria Köln in Germany.